How to report sexual exploitation and abuse by a UNHCR, UN or NGO staff member?

Sexual exploitation and abuse against refugees, asylum seekers and stateless people is considered unacceptable behaviour and it is prohibited for all United Nations and NGO partner staff members.  

What is sexual exploitation?  It is any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes. It includes trafficking and prostitution. 

What is sexual abuse?  It is any actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force, or under unequal or coercive conditions. It includes sexual slavery, pornography, child abuse and sexual assault. 

In line with the United Nations standards of conduct, the staff members of UNHCR and NGO partners must not: 

  • Have sexual activity with anyone in exchange for money, employment, preferential treatment, goods or services 
  • Have sexual activity with any person under the age of 18 years (regardless of the local age of consent or majority)  
  • Engage in any other form of sexually humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour. 

If you are aware of, or have concerns or suspicions about a possible case of sexual exploitation and abuse by a UNHCR, UN or NGO staff member, please report this directly to the Inspector General’s Office (IGO) at UNHCR Headquarters: 

  • Email[email protected] 
  • Confidential fax: +41 22 739 7380 
  • Mail: UNHCR, 94 Rue de Montbrillant, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland 

In your report, you should include: 

  • What happened? Describe in detail what you know about the incident or incidents. 
  • Who committed the alleged wrongdoing? 
  • Do you know if anyone else was involved? Please provide full names, job titles and organization, if possible. 
  • When and where did the incident or incidents occur? 
  • Please include dates and times, if possible. 

Your report will be treated with discretion and kept strictly confidential.